Federal Court Sides with Google in YouTube Copyright Case

A federal judge in New York has ruled in favor of Google’s YouTube in the ongoing $1 billion copyright infringement suit initiated by Viacom. The judge ruled that the video website did not violate copyright, despite its users posting unauthorized video clips from some of the TV giant’s top shows. Viacom first filed the suit in 2007, and the case has been closely watched by those concerned with content distribution and digital disruption.

“U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton wrote in a 24-page opinion that YouTube was shielded from copyright infringement claims by a safe-harbor provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Stanton dismissed Viacom’s lawsuit, and ordered Viacom to pay some of YouTube’s costs,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

“The court correctly rejected Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, reaffirming that Congress got it right when it comes to copyright on the Internet,” said Google’s general counsel Kent Walker. “This is a win not just for YouTube, but for people everywhere who depend on the Internet to exchange ideas and information.”

“This ruling ignores the opinions of the higher courts and completely disregards the rights of creative artists,” suggested Viacom in a statement. “We continue to believe that a jury should weigh the facts of this case and the overwhelming evidence that YouTube willfully infringed on our rights, and we intend to appeal the decision.”